Anyone else feel like higher ranked firm = crappier this OCI

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 273327
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Anyone else feel like higher ranked firm = crappier this OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 23, 2011 6:06 pm

Seems like the less prestigious the firm, the more people enjoy working there and the more cool shit associates get to do. Since they all pay 160, I'm trying to understand what the point of the V rankings are.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273327
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Anyone else feel like higher ranked firm = crappier this OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 23, 2011 6:08 pm

exit opps, my friend. you're thinking too short term.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273327
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Anyone else feel like higher ranked firm = crappier this OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 23, 2011 6:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Seems like the less prestigious the firm, the more people enjoy working there and the more cool shit associates get to do. Since they all pay 160, I'm trying to understand what the point of the V rankings are.


Its just all a snobbish exercise of insecurity. Vault ranking has no correlation with pay, quality of the culture, the experience you will have there, etc. A firm ranked in the 80's might be a far better choice for you than one in the 30's. Using such a list as a guide would be pretty silly. Sure, it can give you a quick idea of how the firms are viewed, but dont look into it too much.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273327
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Anyone else feel like higher ranked firm = crappier this OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 23, 2011 6:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:exit opps, my friend. you're thinking too short term.


I should also add that it seems like people spend longer at lower ranked firms or . . . gasp . . . unranked firms lowering the importance of exit opps.

User avatar
bjsesq
TLS Poet Laureate
Posts: 13383
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:02 am

Re: Anyone else feel like higher ranked firm = crappier this OCI

Postby bjsesq » Tue Aug 23, 2011 6:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:exit opps, my friend. you're thinking too short term.


I should also add that it seems like people spend longer at lower ranked firms or . . . gasp . . . unranked firms lowering the importance of exit opps.


Yeah, seems like. Should probably bet on it, then.

User avatar
rayiner
Posts: 6184
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:43 am

Re: Anyone else feel like higher ranked firm = crappier this OCI

Postby rayiner » Tue Aug 23, 2011 6:24 pm

I can't speak to litigation, but at least in corporate the whole "associates at higher-ranked firms don't do as interesting work" is bull. Deal teams at Cravath are often just a partner, a senior associate, and a junior. The juniors in certain groups get to run smaller deals after a year or so. This is especially true in uncertain economies. Except in the depths of the 2008 recession, Cravath, etc, has more work than it can actually handle. This creates a huge incentive for partners and senior associates to bring junior associates up to speed quickly. At firms that aren't as busy, higher-ups can hoard work and leave juniors with little ability to do substantive assignments.

Also, there are the issues of exit options and job security. With notable exceptions (Latham), folks with V25 SAs were much more likely to get an offer to start work in 2009 than folks with SAs at firms outside the V25. Cravath might stealth you at a fourth year, but they started their ridiculous 160-person and 120-person summer classes eventually. Lesser firms would've just rescinded all those offers. As for exit options, firm ranking does make a difference, especially with regards to nationwide flexibility.

Of course this is not to say that Vault ranking is everything. DC firms are way under-ranked on Vault, for example, and there are great reasons to take certain boutiques over any Vault-ranked firm. But taking a low-V100 NYC firm over a V10 with an intention to do corporate work, under some theory that you'll be more "substantive" work at the former is ridiculous.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273327
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Anyone else feel like higher ranked firm = crappier this OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 23, 2011 11:31 pm

rayiner wrote:I can't speak to litigation, but at least in corporate the whole "associates at higher-ranked firms don't do as interesting work" is bull. Deal teams at Cravath are often just a partner, a senior associate, and a junior. The juniors in certain groups get to run smaller deals after a year or so. This is especially true in uncertain economies. Except in the depths of the 2008 recession, Cravath, etc, has more work than it can actually handle. This creates a huge incentive for partners and senior associates to bring junior associates up to speed quickly. At firms that aren't as busy, higher-ups can hoard work and leave juniors with little ability to do substantive assignments.

Also, there are the issues of exit options and job security. With notable exceptions (Latham), folks with V25 SAs were much more likely to get an offer to start work in 2009 than folks with SAs at firms outside the V25. Cravath might stealth you at a fourth year, but they started their ridiculous 160-person and 120-person summer classes eventually. Lesser firms would've just rescinded all those offers. As for exit options, firm ranking does make a difference, especially with regards to nationwide flexibility.

Of course this is not to say that Vault ranking is everything. DC firms are way under-ranked on Vault, for example, and there are great reasons to take certain boutiques over any Vault-ranked firm. But taking a low-V100 NYC firm over a V10 with an intention to do corporate work, under some theory that you'll be more "substantive" work at the former is ridiculous.


Is it really true that the exit options for say V10 are that much better than V30? I can't find anything to back up these type of statements or anything that very clearly points out the criteria used to judge applicants for exit criteria at all... Just wondering if you have any data on this.

Also further it seems like the vault rankings are pretty inaccurate in the way that they are made (ie only on associate perception). I currently have callbacks from v5 to v90 and I'm finding it hard to tell how to differentiate firms. For example Freshfields or Cahill are in the 40s but they seem to pay better/ have better hours then Jones Day/ White and Case/ Shearman. Why should someone pick the V20s over the V40s? Also the V10 just seem to work you a ridiculously large amount. I'm kind of confused about choosing. Any thoughts/ comments are welcome.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273327
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Anyone else feel like higher ranked firm = crappier this OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 24, 2011 9:37 am

i think pple deliberately choosing a v80 or even a v40 over a v10 because they think they will work less hours will be disappointed. the type of work between the two is still very similar, a deal explodes, a client wants something by friday, and you think the partner at the v80 will say to you "hey dont worry about this since we are a v80 and this is a multi-million dollar deal instead of a multi-billion dollar deal, we can just half ass it." as long as there is more work to be done than there are associates to do it, your hours will always be crazy - and since this is pretty much the standard model at all bigfirms you will work long hours anywhere.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273327
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Anyone else feel like higher ranked firm = crappier this OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 24, 2011 9:46 am

Anonymous User wrote:i think pple deliberately choosing a v80 or even a v40 over a v10 because they think they will work less hours will be disappointed. the type of work between the two is still very similar, a deal explodes, a client wants something by friday, and you think the partner at the v80 will say to you "hey dont worry about this since we are a v80 and this is a multi-million dollar deal instead of a multi-billion dollar deal, we can just half ass it." as long as there is more work to be done than there are associates to do it, your hours will always be crazy - and since this is pretty much the standard model at all bigfirms you will work long hours anywhere.


Ok but some firms have the definite reputation of even more insane hours than other firms. For example S&C and Cravath would probably look askance at 2000 hours billed, while 2000 hours is a decent amount at most other firms. This dynamic exists at a smaller level for other firms in the V20, but people still seem to jump based only on a reputation score.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273327
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Anyone else feel like higher ranked firm = crappier this OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 24, 2011 9:47 am

Do lower ranked firms not give callbacks to overqualified students because they are trying to protect their yield? I had way more interest in lower ranked firms that specialized in certain areas, but I keep getting callbacks from higher ranked firms that I was just eh about.

User avatar
Grizz
Posts: 10583
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:31 pm

Re: Anyone else feel like higher ranked firm = crappier this OCI

Postby Grizz » Wed Aug 24, 2011 10:02 am

Anonymous User wrote:Do lower ranked firms not give callbacks to overqualified students because they are trying to protect their yield? I had way more interest in lower ranked firms that specialized in certain areas, but I keep getting callbacks from higher ranked firms that I was just eh about.

1) higher ranked vault firms tend to have bigger classes (depending on where on the Vault you are)

2) this has been said over 9000 times, but Vault ranges don't necessarily correspond to selectivity

User avatar
IAFG
Posts: 6665
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:26 pm

Re: Anyone else feel like higher ranked firm = crappier this OCI

Postby IAFG » Wed Aug 24, 2011 10:07 am

Anonymous User wrote:Do lower ranked firms not give callbacks to overqualified students because they are trying to protect their yield? I had way more interest in lower ranked firms that specialized in certain areas, but I keep getting callbacks from higher ranked firms that I was just eh about.

Trying to figure out what this means... Physics PhD?

User avatar
Grizz
Posts: 10583
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:31 pm

Re: Anyone else feel like higher ranked firm = crappier this OCI

Postby Grizz » Wed Aug 24, 2011 10:12 am

Grizz wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Do lower ranked firms not give callbacks to overqualified students because they are trying to protect their yield? I had way more interest in lower ranked firms that specialized in certain areas, but I keep getting callbacks from higher ranked firms that I was just eh about.

1) higher ranked vault firms tend to have bigger classes (depending on where on the Vault you are)

2) this has been said over 9000 times, but Vault ranges don't necessarily correspond to selectivity

3) depending on what market you are targeting, Vault may be all but meaningless

User avatar
Grizz
Posts: 10583
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:31 pm

Re: Anyone else feel like higher ranked firm = crappier this OCI

Postby Grizz » Wed Aug 24, 2011 10:13 am

IAFG wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Do lower ranked firms not give callbacks to overqualified students because they are trying to protect their yield? I had way more interest in lower ranked firms that specialized in certain areas, but I keep getting callbacks from higher ranked firms that I was just eh about.

Trying to figure out what this means... Physics PhD?

Also, LOL

User avatar
rayiner
Posts: 6184
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:43 am

Re: Anyone else feel like higher ranked firm = crappier this OCI

Postby rayiner » Wed Aug 24, 2011 5:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:i think pple deliberately choosing a v80 or even a v40 over a v10 because they think they will work less hours will be disappointed. the type of work between the two is still very similar, a deal explodes, a client wants something by friday, and you think the partner at the v80 will say to you "hey dont worry about this since we are a v80 and this is a multi-million dollar deal instead of a multi-billion dollar deal, we can just half ass it." as long as there is more work to be done than there are associates to do it, your hours will always be crazy - and since this is pretty much the standard model at all bigfirms you will work long hours anywhere.


Ok but some firms have the definite reputation of even more insane hours than other firms. For example S&C and Cravath would probably look askance at 2000 hours billed, while 2000 hours is a decent amount at most other firms. This dynamic exists at a smaller level for other firms in the V20, but people still seem to jump based only on a reputation score.


Hours is more about practice group and market than firm. Lower v100 NYC corporate groups aren't going to work you less hard than v10 NYC corporate groups.

User avatar
Cupidity
Posts: 2214
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2009 10:21 pm

Re: Anyone else feel like higher ranked firm = crappier this OCI

Postby Cupidity » Wed Aug 24, 2011 5:21 pm

I'm targetting firms lower than what I should theoretically get. I love the idea of working in a law firm as a career, and the firms down around the V-90's and some local powerhouses offer 60 hour work weeks, 160k, better partnership options, and casual environments. If I had both offers in hand, I'd choose Foley Hoag over Cravath.

User avatar
rayiner
Posts: 6184
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:43 am

Re: Anyone else feel like higher ranked firm = crappier this OCI

Postby rayiner » Wed Aug 24, 2011 5:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
rayiner wrote:I can't speak to litigation, but at least in corporate the whole "associates at higher-ranked firms don't do as interesting work" is bull. Deal teams at Cravath are often just a partner, a senior associate, and a junior. The juniors in certain groups get to run smaller deals after a year or so. This is especially true in uncertain economies. Except in the depths of the 2008 recession, Cravath, etc, has more work than it can actually handle. This creates a huge incentive for partners and senior associates to bring junior associates up to speed quickly. At firms that aren't as busy, higher-ups can hoard work and leave juniors with little ability to do substantive assignments.

Also, there are the issues of exit options and job security. With notable exceptions (Latham), folks with V25 SAs were much more likely to get an offer to start work in 2009 than folks with SAs at firms outside the V25. Cravath might stealth you at a fourth year, but they started their ridiculous 160-person and 120-person summer classes eventually. Lesser firms would've just rescinded all those offers. As for exit options, firm ranking does make a difference, especially with regards to nationwide flexibility.

Of course this is not to say that Vault ranking is everything. DC firms are way under-ranked on Vault, for example, and there are great reasons to take certain boutiques over any Vault-ranked firm. But taking a low-V100 NYC firm over a V10 with an intention to do corporate work, under some theory that you'll be more "substantive" work at the former is ridiculous.


Is it really true that the exit options for say
V10 are that much better than V30? I can't find anything to back up these type of statements or anything that very clearly points out the criteria used to judge applicants for exit criteria at all... Just wondering if you have any data on this.

Also further it seems like the vault rankings are pretty inaccurate in the way that they are made (ie only on associate perception). I currently have callbacks from v5 to v90 and I'm finding it hard to tell how to differentiate firms. For example Freshfields or Cahill are in the 40s but they seem to pay better/ have better hours then Jones Day/ White and Case/ Shearman. Why should someone pick the V20s over the V40s? Also the V10 just seem to work you a ridiculously large amount. I'm kind of confused about choosing. Any thoughts/ comments are welcome.


What do you want to do/where do you want to live? If transactional work in NYC, then go to the V10, unless you've got a specific practice area some other firm does better. You'll work similar hours either way.

As for exit options, it's hard to quantify. The V10 have strong institutional client ties. For example Cravath is lead counsel on most (all?) of IBM's m&a work. If a Cravath associate wants to go in-house at IBM, not only will he likely have done some work for them, but he can leverage contacts through partners. Moreover, he's almost certainly not the first one to make the jump, so he can reach out to former Cravath people within IBM.

Also, the V10 get tapped as lead counsel for the biggest deals. Google didn't hire a lower V100 firm to do the Motorola acquisition - they hired Cleary. Comcast hired DPW for the NBC merger. It's quite arguable that smaller deals give associates better training, but the big deals look better on a resume. It's great when an interviewer recognizes something you've worked on. I did some minor work at the FCC on a headline case, and interviewers jumped on it. It really helps.

User avatar
rayiner
Posts: 6184
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:43 am

Re: Anyone else feel like higher ranked firm = crappier this OCI

Postby rayiner » Wed Aug 24, 2011 5:44 pm

If you really want partnership, but don't care where, it's better to start at Cravath. Partnerships these days tend to be made based on being in the right place at the right time. Firms won't choose a lateral over a home grown associate when that associate fits the required need, but because a Cravath associate can lateral more easily, he can jump on a wide range of opportunities. Eg. Ropes recently opened a Chicago office it's trying to grow aggressively. It's quite possible that senior associate laterals there over the next couple of years will have a great chance at making partner.

User avatar
KMaine
Posts: 862
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 1:57 pm

Re: Anyone else feel like higher ranked firm = crappier this OCI

Postby KMaine » Wed Aug 24, 2011 5:50 pm

Cupidity wrote:I'm targetting firms lower than what I should theoretically get. I love the idea of working in a law firm as a career, and the firms down around the V-90's and some local powerhouses offer 60 hour work weeks, 160k, better partnership options, and casual environments. If I had both offers in hand, I'd choose Foley Hoag over Cravath.


Though I more than understand the draw of highly-ranked NYC firms, I think that firms such as FH provide many of the benefits of some of the NYC firms with a better chance at making partner, more liveable hours, and good (though probably much more regional) exit options. As people mentioned above, I think OP would be more likely to find the type of environment he/she was looking for by looking to different markets rather than going to a NYC firm lower in the vault rankings.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273327
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Anyone else feel like higher ranked firm = crappier this OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 24, 2011 9:10 pm

I've been thinking about all of this when weighing a firm like Patterson Belknap vs. Quinn Emanuel.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273327
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Anyone else feel like higher ranked firm = crappier this OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 25, 2011 1:18 am

Cupidity wrote:I'm targetting firms lower than what I should theoretically get. I love the idea of working in a law firm as a career, and the firms down around the V-90's and some local powerhouses offer 60 hour work weeks, 160k, better partnership options, and casual environments. If I had both offers in hand, I'd choose Foley Hoag over Cravath.

+1000000 to a sentiment only too rarely expressed on TLS. And if that means my exit options are limited to Boston (I dont think so at all), so be it.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273327
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Anyone else feel like higher ranked firm = crappier this OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 25, 2011 1:20 am

Rankings are often LOL. I am likely turning down several V10 offers to work at either a (1) non-Vault firm or (2) a V30-V50 firm which offer a higher quality experience (not to mention more pay) than what I know I'd get elsewhere. Including just as good (if not better) exit options. Vault emphasis = so overrated.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273327
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Anyone else feel like higher ranked firm = crappier this OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:57 am

i chose a V50 over a V10 last year and had the best summer ever at my firm. I wouldn't consider working for a V10 ever. Our summers all went home at reasonable hours (5:30 pm) and had no weekend work (we also have a 100% offer rate, so this changes things a bit), while friends at "higher" ranked firms worked late at night. I know that Debevoise kept summers until 10 or 11, and a friend at another firm worked until 5:30 am and then had to be back in the office at 8:30. There were many more examples like this.

And before you comment....no, it wasn't self imposed. The associates kept them there.

User avatar
rayiner
Posts: 6184
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:43 am

Re: Anyone else feel like higher ranked firm = crappier this OCI

Postby rayiner » Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:59 am

Anonymous User wrote:Rankings are often LOL. I am likely turning down several V10 offers to work at either a (1) non-Vault firm or (2) a V30-V50 firm which offer a higher quality experience (not to mention more pay) than what I know I'd get elsewhere. Including just as good (if not better) exit options. Vault emphasis = so overrated.


irell or munger?

there are lots of good reasons to work at lower ranked firms. Particularly outside NYC where the rankings are meaningless. A lot of the ones typically used (higher QOL, more substantive work) are not them, however.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273327
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Anyone else feel like higher ranked firm = crappier this OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 25, 2011 3:04 am

Anonymous User wrote:i chose a V50 over a V10 last year and had the best summer ever at my firm. I wouldn't consider working for a V10 ever. Our summers all went home at reasonable hours (5:30 pm) and had no weekend work (we also have a 100% offer rate, so this changes things a bit), while friends at "higher" ranked firms worked late at night. I know that Debevoise kept summers until 10 or 11, and a friend at another firm worked until 5:30 am and then had to be back in the office at 8:30. There were many more examples like this.

And before you comment....no, it wasn't self imposed. The associates kept them there.


Corp or lit? If corp, then your firm didn't give you real work. I worked some long hours at a V5, because an associate needed my work product and didn't have time to do work he assigned me. When you actually start practicing, people aren't going to cover for you the way they obviously did at your firm.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.